Shell Shocked – Spare Snare interview (part 1)

The first Cool Cat Club show of 2019 takes place at Beat Generator Live in Dundee on Saturday 5th January and brings together Dundee lo-fi heroes Spare Snare and two of my favourite Scottish acts, De Rosa and Broken Chanter. Having witnessed the same bill at the Great Eastern in Glasgow in October I can reliably inform you that this is going to be one special night and I’m delighted to be involved in the show.

For the Snare the show kickstarts the New Year on the back of a remarkable 12 months which saw them record a new album with legendary producer Steve Albini in the process garnering as much attention for the band in many a year.

Ahead of the show (which precedes a number of dates down south), Snare head honcho Jan Burnett spoke  about a remarkable twelve months.

MPT – How did the engineers’ workshop and the album recording with Steve Albini come about?

JB – “Weirdly from a similar interview around 18 months ago with yourselves.  The question was ‘what have you never been asked, and what is your answer’.

“I’d never been asked who I’d like to record us, and the answer was ‘Steve Albini, Dennis Bovell and Brian Eno’.  I emailed Albini’s studio from the train when heading to a rehearsal and after a few emails to the studio, Albini chipped in and said if it was the same Spare Snare as he knew in the 90’s he’d love to record us.  So thank you for that.*”

What relationship if any did you have with Albini beforehand?

“Absolutely none, apart from knowing and loving a lot of the records he has been involved in.”

What was the thinking behind re-recording songs for the record?

“We didn’t want to waste the valuable time with him recording new songs we may later think were sub standard, and with such a large catalogue, many that have evolved or matured with playing live, it felt right to record a selection over the 12 or so albums.”


How did you decide which songs to do in the end?

“Songs that have evolved, songs from the whole spread of the 25 years and songs that would suit his sound.  That was our own remit.  I think it worked.”

What’s the reaction been to the record?

“Appearing on some end of year lists has been nice, particularly getting some love from people we don’t know, and reaching out to new audiences.  I think we’re still a little shell shocked that it happened and it went so smoothly.  He was good fun too.”

How much has that reaction been a factor in getting more gigs, such as the Rockaway Beach festival?

“The organiser and promoter of Rockaway is actually a bit of a fan from the early days, but I only found that out recently.  I think being attached to the Albini name gives a little kudos, particularly with radio play and reviews.  Getting played on Steve Lamacq again, and a Uncut review is down to the Albini name and connection, we are well aware of that and happy to ride that wave for as long as it lasts.”

What plans do you have for the coming months?

“Live shows, and then cooking up a special project we can’t talk about just yet.  All we can say is that if it does happen it is very Scottish East Coast, we hope people enjoy it. Watch this space.”

*Credit where it’s due – it’s Andy’s interview.More, much more, from the Snare over the next few days!

Spare Snare live dates in January 2019

Saturday 5th – Beat Generator Live, Dundee – Tickets from Groucho’s or online here.

Friday 11th – 81 Renshaw, Liverpool

Saturday 12th – Rockaway Beach Festival, Butlin’s, Bognor Regis

Sunday 13th – Free for Alldayer, The Moon, Cardiff (free show)

Just confirmed –

Monday 14th – Eagle Inn, Manchester



  1. Hope the show goes weel mpt – bm has a ton of stuff to review, just making into December now but the Dundee gig is mooth watering!

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